Yashica Pentamatic

Yashica Pentamatic

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Nice, well-refined little classic SLR donated by a generous website reader, along with a couple of nice auxiliary lenses. Forerunner to other classics like the Super-TL and the Penta J series. No meter on this one, and the focus spot is microprism only, no split. However, one thing that sets this SLR apart from others of its era that is that instead of a slip-on accessory shoe that is easy to misplace, there is a built-in shoulder shoe that means your flash will always be in the always-desirable off-center position (reduces the dreaded red-eye).

The shoulder shoe also hides the rewind knob, which pops out when you press a unique lever on the upper rear of the camera. I’ve outlined the little dance you do with this lever when loading and unloading film below in the ‘tips and tricks’ section.

It’s certainly a sweet little set with its two auxiliary Super Yashinon-R lenses, the 2.8/35mm and the f2.8/100mm. Both auxiliary lenses are pre-set (non-auto-diaphragm) lenses, but are color corrected and hard coated. All are bayonet mount.

 Yashica Pentamatic Lenses

According to the manual there is an adapter ring that allows mounting of M42 (universal screw mount) lenses.


None. Shutter seemed happy to get some exercise though.

Tips & Tricks

It’s a pretty straightforward mechanical SLR, apart from the unusual placement of the rewind crank and the little lever that controls it when loading film. To pop out the crank switch the O-R-A lever to R (Rewind), to open the back switch it to O and then pull the rewind knob up to open the back. After putting the film cassette in place set the lever back to R, push the rewind knob in and see that the leader is attached to the spool. Set the lever back to O, push the rewind knob all the way in, close the back, wind on a few frames and then set the manual frame counter to zero. To rewind you set the lever to R and push the clutch release button on the bottom of the camera before rewinding the film with the crank, then set to O and open the camera as above. Sounds more complicated than it is.

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